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From: Tranel, Daniel 

Sent: Sunday, January 30, 2011 5:26 PM 

To: Nopoulos, Peggy 

Subject: RE: recruits 

Peg, please see below; please share this with the Committee. Thanks! You did a great job rounding up 
this crop, and we have an even better crew coming in a month. Well done and many thanks! Dan 

Peg and members of the Admissions Committee: 

Here is my take on the 7 applicants from this past weekend: 

^J: stellar, I will nominate for Presidential. Our p- value for matriculating him is 

extremely low; he is headed elsewhere. 

|: Solid, should offer admission. 

|: Solid, should offer admission. I doubt we will matriculate her. 

|: Solid, should offer admission. 

James Holmes: Do NOT offer admission under any circumstances. 

J: Probably fine; smart and well spoken. I have mixed feelings about 
him. Cognitive. Not sure. 

Solid, not spectacular. He is bound and determined to work with mc, and I 

don't really want any more students. So I'm not sure. Maybe he can be convinced to work with 
someone else. P value for coming here if admitted is very high — I doubt he will go anywhere 

Thanks. Dan 

Notice: This UI Health Care e-mail (including attachments) is covered by the Electronic 
Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. 2510-2521, is confidential and may be legally 
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From: Blumberg, Mark S 

Sent: Tuesday, February 01, 2011 10:49 AM 

To: Nopoulos, Peggy 

Cc: Weiner, Joshua 

Subject: Re: Dan Tranei's ratings 

Hi, Peggy, 

Right now it looks unlikely that I will be able to make the meeting today. Sorry. Here are my 
impressions of the three students whom I interviewed: 

I: He seemed fine. The conversation was a bit forced since he didn't really know what 

to ask. I can support admission, but he has a lot of developing to do. 

James Holmes: I agree with Dan. Don't admit. 

|: I was impressed. Very mature and very well prepared. Asked great questions. 

Intellectually engaged. Admit! 


Mark S. Blumberg, Ph.D. 
F. Wendell Miller Professor 
Editor-in-Chief, Behavioral Neuroscience 
Member, The Iowa Delta Center 

Departments of Psychology and Biology 
E11 Seashore Hall 
University of Iowa 
Iowa City, Iowa 52242 

Office: 319.335.2424 
Lab: 319.335.3975 
Fax: 319.335.0191 

Notice: This UI Health Care e-mail (including attachments) is covered by the Electronic 
Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. 2510-2521, is confidential and maybe legally 
privileged. If you arc not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any retention, 
dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. Please reply 
to the sender that you have received the message in error, then delete it. Thank you. 

Page 1 of 4 

Holmes, James 

Applying for Admission: 
Applicant ID#: 
Applying As: 

2011 2012 



10/14/2010 4 20 24 PM 



U S Citizen 

United States of America 
White, not Hisparac/Latino(a) ongm 

james holmes@email 




Residing Address 

Line 1 13310 Sparren Ave 

Line 2: 

City: San Diego 

State CA 92129 

Country: United States of America 

Permanent Address 

Line 2: 



Has taken the GRE 



Registration Number 

Score Percentile 

V: 710 98 

Q: 800 94 

AW: 4.0 45 

GRE Subject Test 


Registration Number. 






Listening score. 

Writing score 

Reading score 

Speaking score (if 





Verbal Reasoning: 

Physical Sciences 

Biological Science: 

Writing Sample 


Faculty Rep.: 
Dual Applicant' 

Official GRE Recieved: 11/3072010 
Offical TOEFL 
Offical Ul App 

Pres Grad Feltw Norn 
Pres Grad Feltw Rec: 
Dean Grad Feltw Nom: 
Dean Grad Fellw Rec 
Interview Offered 
Interview Accepted 
Interview Scried. For: 
Admission Offered: 
Not Admit 

Admission Accepted: 
Admission Declined 
Withdrew Application: 


4/8/201 1 


10/15/2010 6 21 28 PM 




Transcripts Received: 1 1/23/2010 12 00 00 AM 

Transcript printed separately or viewable online 

Dates Attented September 2006 - June 2010 

(1) Major Neuroscience 

(2) Major: 

CUM GPA 3.9 

Degree Earned/Expected BS June 2010 

https://webapps 1 .healthcare.uiowa.eduyBiosciences/AdinissionsCoiuniittee/ViewApp.aspx 8/ 1 0/20 1 2 

Page 2 of 4 

KlPlirOSCienCe Applyina for Admission: 2011-2012 

raeuroscieme Applicant id* 3325 

Holmes James Applying As: New 

HOimes, james submitted: 10/14/2010 4 20 24 pm 


Do you possess formal research experience outside laboratory courses'' Yes 
It yes. provide description including mentor, institution/organization, and dates. 
Uploaded research experience printed separately or viewable online 
Statement of Personal Interest 

• What are your reasons for pursuBig a PhD? 

• What are your career goals? 

• What are your reasons for choosing to apply to the University of Iowa? 
Uploaded personal interest printed separately or viewable online 

Please list any scholarship/fellowship, maior academic recognitions, honors, memberships, significant professional activities and 
accomplishments, significant extracurricular activities. 

Uploaded extra-cumcular activities printed separately or viewable online 

Please provide any additional ^formation (exceptional accomplishments as a student, obstacles, or special challenges) which you feel would 
be useful to the Admission Committee in making a decision regarding you application 

Uploaded additional information printed separately or viewable online 


Have you participated in a summer undergraduate research program? Yes 

Institution Program Dale (mm/yyyy) 

University of California Riverside Dean's Fellowship 06/2009 


Please select if you participated in any of the following Ul sponsored program(s) 

Biochemistry Summer Undergraduate Free Radical & Radiation FUTURE in InterdisapTinary Summer 

Research Fellowship (BSURF) Program Biology Summer Program Btomedicine Program Undergraduate Research Program 

_ Annual Biomedical Pre Secondary Student Ul SROP/McNair Scholars 

towa First Nations Summer Program Graduale c^oo, Conference Training Program (SSTP) Program 

Summer Microbiology Research Summer Undergraduate 

Experience for Undergraduates (REU) MSTP Research (SUMR) Other 
Program Program 

Please select if you belong to any of the foiowing program(s) 

Bridges Program PREP U-Star 



Briefly indicate how you learned about the graduale opportunities at The University of Iowa and list the sources of information you consulted 
before you submitted this application 

I was initially introduced to (he University of Iowa's graduate opportunities via the gre college search services. From there I explored the 
program further on it's website. 

List University ol towa (acuity members (if any) with whom you have consulted or corresponded regarding admission 

List other graduate or professional schools and programs to which you are applying: 

Institution Training Program 

(1) Texas A&M 

(2) Kansas University 

(3) University of Michigan 

(4 ) University of Alabama 8/10/2012 

Page 3 of 4 

(5) University of Colorado 

https://webapps1. AdmissionsCommittee/ViewApp.aspx 8/10/2012 

Page 4 of 4 

Imes, James 

Applying for Admission: 
Applicant ID#: 
Applying As: 




10/14/2010 4:20:24 PM 


Uploaded letter of recommendation printed separately or viewable online 

University of California, Riverside 

a leaching assistanl 
major advisor 



I have known the applicant for a period of: 4 years (or months) 

I have known the applicant as: gn undergraduate 

f—i r 
a graduate 

a research assistant 
lservedas; research advisor 

teacher in one class 

I I teacher in several classes 

The educational level of the representative group with whom the applicant is compared is: 

College seniors 

First-year graduate students 

Intermediate-year graduate students 
In comparison with a representative group of students in the same field who have had approximately the same amount of experience and 
training, how do you rate the applicant in GENERAL ALL AROUND SCIENTIFIC ABILITY? 

Below Average Unusual 

Average Outstanding 

Somewhat Above Average Truly Exceptional 

Good Inadequate Opportunity to Observe 

In Ihe space below, please provide your letter of recommendation which will assist in providing fhe Biosciences Admissions Committee a 
picture of the applicant's abilities and commitment to an appropriate career. 

https://webappsl AdmissionsCommittccA'iewApp.aspx 8/1 0/2012 

To prepare myself for graduate study at the University of Iowa, I sought involvement 
in a general array of academic research. My first siumner internship, at the Salk Instit ute 
of Biological Studies, was done while I was s till in high school. Working in|^ 

1 1 had little experience in computer 
programming and the work was challenging to say the least. Nonetheless. I taught myself 
how to program in Flash and then constructed a cross-temporal calibration model. The 
purpose of this model was to show an illusion between cause and effect relationships. In 
this illusion, the mind is actually tricked into believing an action precedes the event that 
caused it. Completing the project and presenting my model at the end of the internship 
was exhilarating and I believe graduate study at the University of Iowa will provide 
commensurate opportunities for a satisfying neuroscience research experience. 

Another laboratory I worked in was within the department of chemistry at the 
University of California, Riverside. Having previously been exposed to a computational 
approach. I wanted to explore the facets of chemical analysis. Beginning by making 
buffer solutions, I soon advanced into more complicated techniques. These included 
performing high performance liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry and ultra violet 
spectroscopy on a modified twelve mer dna sequence. With the end product we 
bombarded the dna with ultra violet rays to observe cancerous effects. Although I don't 
plan on curing cancer in graduate school I believe this research experience is worthwhile 
and relevant to my goals of contributing to neuroscience. Only with a multidisciplinary 
perspective to the specialized field of neuroscience can we hope to fully imderstand the 

The most recent laboratory I worked in was the Flight Lab in the department of 
cellular biology and neuroscience. Working in this lab enabled me to distinguish 
structural and quantitative differences in neural systems at a lower level of fiuictional 
analysis. I dissected various flight muscles of Passeri formes and then stained their motor 
end plates. With these stained muscles, I compared their arrangements to the stained 
muscles of hummingbirds, which have a unique motor end plate pattern. In the future my 
goal is to analyze and study higher neural functional levels of analysis such as learning 
and memory. 

Rational people act based on incentives for self-fulfillment, including fulfilling needs 
of self-development and needs of feeling useful and helpful to others. 1 look forward to 
fulfilling my quest to advance my knowledge and I plan to use my critical thinking skills 
by studying the subject I am passionate about, neuroscience. 

I desire to attend graduate study at the University of Iowa, a leader and innovator in 
scientific research, because the university will provide opportunities to pursue my 
foremost passions, the science of learning, cognition and memory. I have always been 
fascinated by the complexities of a long lost thought seemingly arising out of nowhere 
into a stream of awareness. These fascinations likely stemmed from my interest in 
puzzles and paradoxes as an adolescent and continued through my curiosity in academic 

Making new discoveries in neuroscience is intrinsically rewarding in its own right. I 
have an unquenchable curiosity, a strong desire to know and explore the unknown, and a 
need to persist against the odds. Graduate study at the University of Iowa will provide a 
focus for me to perform and achieve through neuroscience research. 

Researching learning and memory interests me because these are the very cognitive 
processes which enable us to acquire information and retain it. They arc at the core of 
what distinguishes us as people. Due to the seemingly infinite vastness of indefinite 
knowledge we must be selective in our pursuits of knowledge. This is why I have chosen 
to study the primary source of all things, our own minds. 

Ultimately, I aspire to become a cognitive neuroscientist. I intend to continue 
performing research after graduate school in either academic or public sectors. My life- 
long goal is to increase the efficiency of how human beings learn and remember. 

James Holmes 

Aspiring Scientist 
Home (858) 449-7348 

Home Address 

James Holmes 
13310 Sparren Ave 
San Diego, CA 92129 


To obtain a position as a neuroscience graduate student 

• 2006 - 2010, University of California, Riverside 

• Graduated with B.S. in Neuroscience 

• Dean's Fellow 

• Regent's Scholar 

• Phi Beta Kappa Society 


• Dissection, buffer preparation and staining 

• Fluorescence microscopy, dissection microscopy, cell counts 

• Proficient using computer software including Microsoft Office 

• Adaptable to work environment; problem solver 


UCR, Department of Cellular Biology & Neuroscience Riverside, CA 92521 December 2007 - September 2009 
Laboratory Assistant 

• Digitization of mice with mitochondrial rich muscle 

• Fluorescence microscopy of neuronal mapping of the Zebra Finch 

• Dissection, staining and photography of hummingbird and Passeriforme flight muscles 

• Comparison of motor end plate stains of flight muscles 

Camp Max Straus 6505 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 600 June 2008 - August 2008 

Camp Counselor 

• Provided leadership and guidance to underprivileged children. 

• Took an active stance as a positive role model. 

• Assisted children in achieving their potential. 

• Facilitated excellence in mentoring. 

UCR, Department of Chemistry Riverside, CA 92521 December 2006 - June 2007 

Laboratory Assistant 

• Analyzed mass spectrometry and HPLC data, graphs and principles 

• Performed redox titrations, chromatography, ultra violet spectroscopy, etc. 

Salk Institute for Biological Studies La Joila, CA 92037 June 2006 - August 2006 

Student Intern 

• Designed a computer program to illustrate temporal perceptions of causality 

• Executed procedures (pipeting, gel electrophoresis, conceptual modeling, etc.) 

• Programmed a flicker fusion utility, which notes differences in contrast between monitors. 

Behind the cluster of houses, rows upon rows of strawberries grew in the Salinas 
valley. As a child I passed these strawberry fields everyday on my way to school into the 
town of Castroville, "The Artichoke Center of The World". At school everyone wore a 
mandatory uniform consisting of navy blue jeans for the boys and a navy blue skirt for 
the girls, while everyone donned a white shirt. 1 didn't know at the time why uniforms 
were necessary but later 1 discovered the uniforms were issued to curb gang rivalry. 
Looking back, my life could have gone in a completely different direction had I not 
possessed the foresight to choose the path of knowledge. I chose to appreciate an 
education, cultivating my mind. Since then 1 have strived to find new and better ways to 
learn, to improve. This is why I aim to attend graduate school and why my primary aim is 
to explore learning and memory. 

In the field of cognitive neuroscience, researchers come from many different 
backgrounds and bring part of who they are to their investigations. I too will bring my 
past, specifically my strong moral upbringing. In addition, 1 will also exemplify my 
resolution and clairvoyance in problem solving. These abilities and more are typified in a 
summer job I performed as a camp counselor for underprivileged children. 

Assuming a leadership role was something I was previously unaccustomed to but 1 
took on the task with fervor. For the next week, twelve boys ages ten to eleven would 
look up to me for guidance and direction in Cheyenne cabin. Following them, nine more 
weeks with nine more groups. Every day there were activities for the kids but one of the 
activities "create your own," tended to turn into chaos. At first I chose to let the kids 
decide what they wanted to do and put it to a vote. Democracy right? Bad idea. Some 
wanted to go the game room, others wanted to rest, some wanted to go to the field but 
there was no way to manage everyone if they split up. The outcome resulted in twelve 
kids arguing with each other, name calling and pushing. To resolve these types of 
incidents from occurring again I changed my strategy. "Create your own" became game 
room on Monday, sports on Tuesday, drawing on Wednesday... and if the kids were 
really good I devised something special for them like lizard catching. In the middle of 
that week when the campers were writing letters to home about their camp experience, 
one of the little guys asked me how to spell amazing. 

When it was time for each cabin to go home there were always kids telling me they 
wanted the same cabin next summer and if I would be back again to be their cabin 
counselor. At those moments I felt a sense of unparalleled accomplishment. 

Other times I felt that I could be doing more. On average, two of the kids per cabin 
were clinically diagnosed with ADHD. One of the weeks, I mentored a kid with 
Schizophrenia. At 3:30 a.m. he woke up and vacuumed the ceiling of our cabin. These 
kids were heavily medicated but this did not solve their problems, only create new ones. 
The medication changed them from highly energetic creative kids to lax beings who slept 
through the activities. I wanted to help them but couldn't. This is where neuroscience 
research becomes invaluable. 

With a neuroscience doctorate there is even more to accomplish. Those most in need 
of an education including children and people with cognitive disabilities, can benefit 
from the results of research into the workings of learning, memory and brain-behavior 
relations. Indeed all aspects of society have the potential to gain from advancements in 
our understanding of learning and memory because we are all connected. We all share 
one brain, the human brain.